My Life On The Beach: Louisa Parker Bowles
Hailing from Australia, Louisa Parker Bowles, certainly knows a thing or two blissful beaches. Currently based in London as Special Projects Editor at House & Garden, she dishes the deets on chic beach essentials and the perfect family holiday.
Where is your favourite beach?
I'm originally from Sydney, so beaches were a big part of my childhood. The Bondi to Bronte coastal walk is a must for anyone visiting Sydney - stunning scenery and lots of great places to stop for breakfast or coffee along the way. I went paddle boarding for the first time at Palm Beach last summer, which I loved, and a visit to Mona Vale beach with my mum feels like home.
What’s your idea of the perfect holiday?
Good food, good company, nice walks, somewhere to swim and, ideally, some sunshine. A good local farmers' market is a bonus too. I'm very lucky and get to travel a fair amount, but a visit home to Australia to see my friends and family trumps everything. Every time I land in Sydney and the Qantas pilot says 'For those of your returning to Sydney, welcome home,' I burst into tears.
Where was your first family holiday with your kids?
My husband and I took our daughter, Poppy, to Trasierra in Spain when she was five months old and it was perfect. Tucked snugly in the Sierra Morena mountains, the hotel feels more like a friend's house (albeit much nicer than the average abode) and staying there feels like you are at a very chic house party. Bliss.
How do you keep looking chic on holiday?
I'm not sure about chic but my summer uniform tends to be a Zimmermann cozzie, kaftan, straw hat, Havianas and Ray Bans.
What are your top tips for surviving a long haul flight with your kids?
The dreaded long haul flight with children! It’s never going to be easy but being prepared helps. We favour night flights where possible and always make sure we have a good supply of snacks, books and new toys. Plus my husband for reinforcement! Beloved children's entertainers, Sharky and George, have recently collaborated with Original Travel to produce child friendly itineraries and helpful suggestions, all designed to take the pressure off parents as much as possible. They also provide tailor-made fun packs for children to take on the aeroplane with them - full to bursting with age-appropriate toys and activities - designed to suit each child's likes. A brilliant idea and seriously impressive execution.
What do you always have in your hand luggage?
These days my hand luggage tends to be filled with baby wipes, Peppa Pig paraphernalia and Ella's gingerbread biscuits. I always make room for some Neal's Yard wild rose beauty balm - my wonder product that can be used as a cleanser, moisturiser or face mask and smells delicious.
What did you read on your last holiday?
For me the biggest indulgence is reading Vogue, cover to cover, without interruption. I love pouring over the beautiful fashion and beauty shoots. I should read more novels but with a busy 18-month old to run around after all day, I tend to fall asleep as soon as I lie down. I am in a book club but am definitely the worst member as I rarely finish the book. It's more of a gossip club really.
What are your beach bag must haves?
Lucas pawpaw cream, suncream, some coins for an ice cream on the way back to the car and my sarong.